The best medication will never work on an ear infection if you don't know how to apply it properly. The same is true for eye drops as well.
Before we talk about technique, a couple of important points.
First, be patient and loving. If you don't want this to be a wrestling match you need to be relaxed. Do the treatment when you have the ability to take your time.
Second, a little bribery never hurt. Treats to reward good behavior are great. You can even do this as a mid-set break. It is very likely if you are treating the eyes or the ears that you will be doing both sides. Give a treat in between as well as at the end.
Applying Eye Drops to Dogs
Author: Ernest Ward, DVM
The proper administration of eye medications is essential for your pet's prompt recovery. Make sure you have carefully read the label and understand the prescription instructions. If you have any questions, contact your veterinarian for clarification.
Wash your hands both before and after administering the medication to prevent contamination and/or the potential spread of infection. Be sure to keep the applicator tip clean and do not allow it to contact the dog, the eye or any other surface. If this occurs, clean the tip by wiping it off with a clean cloth and ask your veterinarian for specific cleaning instructions.
If your dog's eye is painful, you may need to have someone assist you with restraint or you may need to place a muzzle on your dog. Usually, as the medication begins to control the problem, the pain lessens and assistance becomes less necessary.
Here are some helpful tips and step-by-step instructions for administering eye drops:
Gently clean away any debris around the dog's eyes with warm water and a washcloth prior to administering the eye drops.
Hold the bottle using your thumb and index finger. You may want to rest this hand on the top of the dog's head for stability.
With your other hand, use your thumb to pull down the lower eyelid. The lower eyelid acts as a pouch to receive the drops. Place your remaining fingers under the dog's jaw to support the head.
Hold the bottle close to the eye but make sure you DO NOT touch the eye's surface.
Squeeze the prescribed number of drops directly onto the eyeball, aiming for the center of the eye. Release the head.
Your dog will blink, spreading the medication over the surface of the eye.
It is common for dogs to blink or paw at the eye after administering the drops. If this persists or if the eye appears more inflamed or red after administration of the medication, consult with your veterinarian.
Make sure you give your dog plenty of praise throughout the procedure and offer a treat when you are finished. This will make the experience more positive and make it easier to give the medication the next time.
If you need help, please ask. We are happy to have you come in as many times as you like to have our staff help you with the treatment. By the time we are done, you could work here!